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Most people don’t get far in life without some sort of guidance. Mentoring or being mentored can be a wonderful gift, especially to entrepreneurs just starting out. If you’d like to be on the receiving end of this relationship, it’s a good idea to follow some ground rules. Here are a few:

Be open to feedback. If you enlist the help of someone, be open to hearing their suggestions and constructive criticism. It’s all part of the process of self-betterment.

40587009 - hand arrange wood letters as mentor wordMake it easy. When you want someone’s help, make it easy for them to help you. Most people are juggling a lot between work and personal life. If they can’t make time for lunch, offer to bring their favorite beverage to them and have the session there.

Show appreciation. A cup of coffee or lunch every now and then can go a long way. People like to be acknowledged and small gestures can speak louder than words.

Show your value. It’s not supposed to be all take and no give. Make it easy for them to mentor you. Ask direct questions and respect their time.

Ask. Before asking for help, always know exactly what you want from a mentor; otherwise it will be a waste of time for both parties.

Know where to look. You might find a mentor in an unsuspecting place. Think traditional venues like business organizations, nonprofit organizations, within your family, church groups, and even your local coffee shop.

If you have ever mentored someone, what tips can you add to help enhance the relationship?